Tag Archives: road trip

Two Tickets to Paradise

22 Jul

Today Travis and I leave on our road trip to Minnesota. We will be gone 9 glorious days. Here’s our itinerary:

Friday: Leave work at 2:00, drive home, load up the pooches, get on the road by 3:00. Stop at Cabela’s in Sidney, NE, to buy Travis’ dad’s 60th b-day present. Continue on to Nevis, arriving around 8 a.m. (it’s a 16-hour drive).

Saturday: Spend time in the middle of nowhere (aka Nevis where Travis grew up). I will read and bum around while Travis shoots stuff, creates trails on their property of 180 acres, and goes 4-wheeling (not in a Jeep but on an ATV for all of you who use 4-wheeling incorrectly 🙂 ).

Sunday – Monday: Go to Grand Rapids where Travis’ parents currently live (they still have their house in Nevis, but rent it out – long story). Their house in GR is on a lake so we’ll probably do some fishing (I personally like to do tangling instead), boating, and sitting on their amazingly awesome wraparound deck. This will be the first time I’ll see their house without 5 feet of snow and negative temperatures. Yay for summer! Yay for a regular job!

Tuesday – Wednesday: We’re going to head up to Travis’ family’s cabin in Voyageur’s National Park in extreme Northern Minnesota (near the Boundary Waters). Trav’s great-grandma or great-great-grandma bought the property before it was a National Park (back in the 40s or 50s) so it’s very secluded (no phone or Internet) and you have to take a boat to get there (or a snowmobile in the winter). It is absolutely gorgeous up there.


The sunsets up there are amazing and you can often see the Northern Lights (aka Aurora Borealis). Another perk, Canada is just right across the lake. Oh yeah, dontcha know.

I’ll also get to see a lot of this:

And I think we’re going to throw Katy off the dock. Because she hates water. And we like to laugh. No but seriously, we’d like to expose our dogs to some water on this trip so that they stop being so scared of it.

Thursday – Friday: Time with my family at my parent’s cabin near Pine City (an hour north of Minneapolis).

There will be time for this:

(although right now I’m not feeling the whole getting-thrown-off-a-tube-careening-around-the-corner-at-20-mph thing.)

And this:

My oldest brother, Jeremy, and sis-in-law, Jen, will be coming up from Evansville, IN, on Friday too. I’m not sure what my other 2 brothers and SIL (who live in the Cities) are going to be doing but I’m sure I’ll get to see them Friday too.

Saturday: Lunch with college friends in Minneapolis, then my cousin Ben is getting married! It will be fun to share in their special day and see all of my extended family on my mom’s side.

Sunday: Early breakfast with immediate family and drive the 13 hours back to Denver. I’m always extremely sad when we leave after trips like this, mostly because I miss our family. It’s just a matter of time before we move back…

Since I will be enjoying all of these wonderful water-filled festivities and decomposing (Decompressing!) during the summer of Kathy (Seinfeld references), I won’t be blogging. I actually won’t even touch a computer (unless forced). I will be soaking up sunshine, lake time, and humidity that melts your face off, and being eaten by bugs the size of a small child. And it will be glorious.

I do have a couple of guest posts lined up so stay tuned for those. Have a great week!






Good to be home

19 Jul

I just got back yesterday from being gone on a work trip for 10 days. We were in Middle-of-Nowhere, Utah, the whole time. I actually kind of enjoyed being out in the country but I was – am – SO ready to be home.

The thing I’m looking forward to the most about being home is being able to spend time with the Lord again. I know I could do it somewhat while I’m on the road but since I share a hotel room, I don’t get any alone time. And toward the end of the week (Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun), I am so busy and exhausted that I go to bed right when I get back and get up with just enough time to leave when we need to (even then I usually only get 3-5 hours of sleep). It’s intense, to say the least.

So today, I am taking the day off. I am blogging, Facebooking, and getting in the Word this morning with my first cup of coffee in 10 days!! (I am so picky about my coffee that I hardly ever drink it on the road – although I did have 2 lattes while we were gone.) Then, at 10:30, I’m getting a full body massage to work out the knots starting to form in my upper back from lifting so much heavy equipment. After that, I’ll take a shower and eat lunch with Travis. Then, this afternoon, I’m starting my first day of volunteering in the office at my church. That’s from 2-5 pm, after which I’ll come home, make supper, call my mom and 2 of my brothers, and hopefully still have time to paint my toenails. It’s a busy day but a fun one!

Tomorrow, it’s back to the grind BUT this is my last timing event of the 2010 triathlon season – meaning I’ll be traveling for work. I’m taking volunteer coordination back on but it shouldn’t be too bad, since the bulk of my job over the past 2 months will no longer be the bulk of my job (I’ll still be timing our own races).

It’s funny – even though I won’t be traveling for work the last weekend of July and the last 2 weekends of August, we’re planning on going to Yellowstone, Boulder (which is pretty close relatively), and into the mountains to camp. But it’s going to be the FUN kind of road trip!! Can’t wait!

Life on the road

27 Jun

I just got back last night from yet another trip to SLC (what is that, 6 times in the past 2 months?) Megan (the intern traveling with me) and I have been lamenting the difficulty of eating healthy on the road. Not only do we have a packed car on each road trip (making the addition of a cooler with healthy snacks a total impossibility), you’re stuck with having to eat that food that first day because often, our hotel rooms don’t have refrigerators. At one of the early races, I tried to bring hummus with me – bad idea. Who knew hummus actually turns into liquid when it gets warm?

Lately, I’ve just been packing dried fruit (usually mango – my fave), 3-4 Luna bars, and some trail mix. On past trips, I have bought popcorn (a food that has low calories for the volume) but fruit is usually hard to find, unless you make a separate stop at a grocery store – which aren’t always available either, especially when you’re driving through the middle of Wyoming. And you can only eat snack foods for so many meals before you want a meal of something substantial.

It’s not being away from home that’s the problem. When we actually reach our destination, we usually go out for dinner at a sit-down restaurant. We have gone out for sushi more than once (one of my favorite things), which is fairly healthy but also fairly expensive. When we go to a different restaurant, I try to order something on the lighter side – like a salad with chicken or a personal pizza loaded with veggies.

After a race, we are ravenous and thirsty. It’s usually at least 12:00 noon and we have been up since 4 am. All we’ve had to eat and drink are usually a protein bar or 2 and a giant Red Bull. I would think about eating more at the races but honestly, sometimes we’re running around and so busy that it’s just not possible. So when we’re done packing up the car and are heading out of town for home, we stop at Arby’s, Chick-Fil-A, or Culver’s and get a burger and fries – for some reason, greasy food is SO appealing when we’re starving. Good for the tastebuds. Bad for the heart… and waistline (although I haven’t gained any weight yet, no doubt due to burning 2,500 calories per week through running and probably another 800 at each race).

Fast food isn’t a great way to start another long 7-13 hour drive home though, since greasy food is notorious for causing fatigue. But honestly, you can only eat at Subway so many times before the idea of another sub makes you want to gag.

So I’ve done a little research (and gathered some of my own ideas from personal experience). Here are some ways to eat healthy on the road:

1. Bring emergency snacks with you. Things like nuts, dried fruit, apples, oranges, and protein bars are easy to transport, don’t require refrigeration, and are healthy stand-ins when you’re hungry and can’t find anything better.

2. Drink plenty of water. Who cares if you have to stop every hour? If you’re traveling a lot, dehydrating yourself on a regular basis in the interest of saving time isn’t really helping you out at all. Try to avoid pop and flavored waters – caffeine is a diuretic and flavored waters can leave a film on your teeth that gets nasty after so many hours in the car.

3. If you must eat at a fast food restaurant, order off the kid’s or value menus. These sandwiches and sides are smaller than the regular versions, which means fewer calories.

4. Skip the french fries. These are fine as treats once in a while, but if you are frequenting fast food restaurants often, you might find yourself eating these “treats” too often. Marketing has so penetrated our minds that we think a burger must be accompanied by fries – or else the meal is not complete. (I find myself thinking this). Instead of ordering fries, get a side salad, baked potato (naked), or a bottle of milk.

5. A CNN article says that at convenience stores, food stamped with an expiration date (one that hasn’t passed!) is usually healthier than anything that can sit around for a decade or two, because shelf-stable foods are often loaded with preservatives and artery-clogging trans fats. Often, gas stations have string cheese, small bottles of milk, and sometimes even fruit.

Next Best: If the fridge section disappoints, head back to the shelves and grab some individual-size bags of snacks, but look for ones that your greatgrandmother would recognize as actual food, such as dried fruit, nuts, and whole-wheat crackers, advises Steven G. Aldana, Ph.D., author of “The Stop & Go Fast Food Nutrition Guide.”

If you’re craving pretzels, nuggets are better than skinny ones because they take longer to eat, says Bonci, who adds that animal crackers and Teddy Grahams are good bets to satisfy a sweet tooth since they’re lower in calories than other cookies.

And there you have it. Now only if I could find a way to keep my willpower in check…